There will be spoilers from book one, Antigoddess.
Full disclosure- I absolutely adore Kendare’s work. She was so nice as to send me this book but that doesn’t alter my rating or review of this novel. If I’d have hated it I would have cried from disappointment but would be honest and rated accordingly.
Ares, God of War, is leading the other dying gods into battle. Which is just fine with Athena. She’s ready to wage a war of her own, and she’s never liked him anyway. If Athena is lucky, the winning gods will have their immortality restored. If not, at least she’ll have killed the bloody lot of them, and she and Hermes can die in peace.
Cassandra Weaver is a weapon of fate. The girl who kills gods. But all she wants is for the god she loved and lost to return to life. If she can’t have that, then the other gods will burn, starting with his murderer, Aphrodite.
The alliance between Cassandra and Athena is fragile. Cassandra suspects Athena lacks the will to truly kill her own family. And Athena fears that Cassandra’s hate will get them ALL killed.
The war takes them across the globe, searching for lost gods, old enemies, and Achilles, the greatest warrior the world has ever seen. As the struggle escalates, Athena and Cassandra must find a way to work together. Because if they can’t, fates far worse than death await.
I’ve got to be honest, I was the slightest bit (just the tiniest amount) concerned after Antigoddess because I hadn’t connected to the characters or story as deeply as I had with the Anna series. But, as you can see from my rating, there was no need to worry because I loved this book. In fact, I loved it more than Antigoddess and found myself completely immersed in the story and characters.
First things first, this one picks up after Antigoddess and we are seeing the fall-out from Apollo’s/Aidan’s death. Since we’ve been set up with the overall story arc the action gets going fairly fast and as always Blake provides beautifully detailed, gruesome and vivid details. To me, Blake is one of the most gifted authors in creating vivid and beautifully crafted descriptions. She is always able to pull me into her character’s worlds and create a very realistic atmosphere. I also adore the little hints of humor thrown in the dialog to help relieve some of the tense scenes.
That brings me to the action scenes…which were wonderfully done. Many good fighting scenes were interspersed within the story adding that bit of gore that you always have in a Blake book (seriously, the idea of feathers breaking through your skin just awesomely disturbing). Have you noticed I have nothing but praise for this book? Yep, I couldn’t find fault with it. The pacing was a tad slower than what I normally find in young adult but never boring. Lately, I’ve been enjoying adult fiction again and I think I might prefer a book that takes its time and really lets me sink into the story.
I don’t think there’s a single character in this series that I dread reading about. Each was well developed and unique in their thoughts and motivations. My favorite in both this and the first book was Athena. I can’t help but imagine her as Kendare Blake (a complement to both I might add). Athena had a strong will and sense of purpose that ultimately drove her to take almost a motherly role over her companions. I love that she can be self depreciating and incredibly self confident and bold at the same time. She embraced responsibility for her group which often has her taking the course of action that might be the hardest.
I wasn’t as fond of Cassandra in Antigoddess but found her to be a much deeper and interesting character in this book. I love that she struggles with not only her past but her role in the present. I found her struggles to be interesting and provide a level of depth missing for me prior. I felt that she was much easier to relate to in this novel as well. I am confident if I were in her position I’d be angry so I loved watching her deal with those emotions.
Hermes was as lovable in this book as the last though much more heartbreaking. He was literally wasting away before our eyes which gave me the sense of urgency to Athena’s quest. I love that we saw more of Odysseus in this installment. It was also nice to have a few more characters introduced like Ares. I thought Blake did an amazing job in creating such a creepy character that fully embraced being the God of War. His talking hell hounds were especially well done.
I believe it is pretty evident that I adored Mortal Gods. I found it to be an improvement on the first book because of my deeper connection to the characters. Blake delivers an incredibly well crafted storyline with characters that embrace their mythological ideal yet feel realistic.